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Social Psychology Test Answers

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Define social psychology.
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Involves the use of scientific methods to explore the ways in which a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.
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What is social psychology attempting to discover?
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Explain how construals, or interpretations, of the environment affect our behaviors; how individuals act due to their construals of the situation.
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What are the ABCs of social psychology?
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Affect = feelings, Behaviors, Cognition = thoughts.
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Define fundamental attribution error.
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The tendency to explain behavior entirely in terms of personality traits rather than situation factors. Rooted in correspondence bias and perceptual salience.
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What do we overestimate? Underestimate?
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Overestimate – the importance of personality. Underestimate – the importance of the situation when making attributions for people’s behavior.
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Define construal.
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How people are influenced by their interpretation of social environments, which determines how they act; how people perceive behavior
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What are important motives for construal?
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Influenced by the need to be accepted and the need to feel good about ourselves.
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Do people distort situations in order to feel good about themselves or represent situations accurately?
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Distort situations to feel good about themselves.
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Define social cognition.
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How people think about themselves and the social world; how people select, interpret, remember, and use social information to make judgments and decisions.
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Define social perception.
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The study of how we form impressions and make inferences about other people.
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What is the role of expectations for social cognition?
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Can change the nature of the social world. Self-fulfilling prophecies; treatment affects behavior and performance.
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Define two fundamental axioms.
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Refer to whether or not there is ultimate reality or whether it is created and the influence of the situation on the ABCs.
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Why conduct research?
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Scientific explanation can infer cause and effect.
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What are the six steps of research?
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1) Finding a question. 2) Clear about what you are studying. 3) Finding participants. 4) Collecting data. 5) Analyzing results. 6) Report.
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Theory vs. hypothesis
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Hypothesis – educated guess as to the answer of the question; a specific, testable proposition. Theory – overall explanation.
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What is the point of operational definitions?
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To help clarify what is meant by researchers. Exact operations or methods used to manipulate variables.
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What is the difference between independent and dependent variable?
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Independent variable – manipulated or changed. Dependent variable – observed and measured.
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What is the difference between confounding and random variable?
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Confounding variable – might have affected the dependent variable. Random variable – variables that are uncontrollable, individual differences.
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Difference between population and sample?
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Population – every member of a group of individuals that researcher generalizes their findings to. – Sample – a subset of the larger population that data is collected from.
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Difference between random sample and sampling bias?
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Random sample – every member of a population has the same chance of being included through equivalence, representativeness, and generalizability. – Sampling bias – every member of a population does not have the same chance of being selected for inclusion in a study.
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How can you avoid sampling bias?
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Calling, hanging up signs, advertising in the newspaper.
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What is hindsight bias?
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The results seem predictable because the data has been analyzed
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What are the three types of research?
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Observational, Correlational, Experimental.
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What are the three types of observational research?
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Naturalistic, ethnography, and archival analysis.
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Define naturalistic observation.
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Watching without interfering with a phenomenon as it occurs in its natural environment.
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Pros and cons of naturalistic observation.
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Pros: Provides an understanding of behavior in its natural surroundings. – Cons: No control and reaction bias.
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Define ethnography.
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Understand a culture by observing it from inside without imposing preconceived notions.
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Define archival analysis.
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Examine accumulated documents of a culture. Tells about a culture’s beliefs and values.
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Pros and cons of archival analysis.
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Pros: what is currently occurring, “jumping off” point. Cons: Reliability limited by the source creating the archive.
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What are the pros and cons to all observational methods?
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Pros: Good for describing observable behaviors. Cons: Limited to a particular group of people, setting, or type of activity.
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Define correlation research.
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Two or more variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them is assessed.
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What is a correlation coefficient?
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A statistic that indicates how well you can predict one variable with another. Number – strength; valence – direction.
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How do the numbers work for correlation coefficients?
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The closer r is to +1 or -1, the more strongly the two variables are related. If r is close to 0, there is no relationship between the variables
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Define positive correlation.
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Occurs when two variables either increase or decrease together.
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Define negative correlation.
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Occurs when one variable increases, the other decreases.
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Pros and cons of surveys.
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Pros: Data from a large number of people, less costly and quick. Cons: People may refuse to answer certain questions, answer in a self-serving manner. Wording can influence answers.
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What is the only way to understand cause and effect relationships?
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Experimental research.
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Define experiment.
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Situations in which the researcher manipulates one, or more, variables (independent). Then observes the effect of that manipulation on another variable (dependent). While holding all other variables constant.
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Pros and cons of experiments.
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Pros: can infer cause and effect relationships. Cons: artificial nature of procedures, ethical and practical issues.
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Differences between observational, correlational, and experimental designs?
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Observational – report what already exists. Correlational – carefully tracking behavior, make predictive statements, lack control and manipulation. Experimental – manipulation, control, random assignment that allow for cause and effect.
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Difference between internal and external validity.
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Internal – controlling the experiment so that nothing besides the independent variable can affect the dependent variable. Controls for confounding and random variables. – External – generalized to other situations and people. Replication is the ultimate test. Meta-analysis reveals if there is external validity.
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What does the p-value indicate?
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A statistic that tells researchers how likely the results occurred by chance and not because of the independent variable.
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What is the difference between mundane and psychological realism?
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Mundane realism – what happens in experiment reflects in the real world. Psychological realism – psychological processes reflect in the real world.
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What is the basic dilemma of social psychologists?
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Field experiments allow researchers to study multiple situations and people (allows external validity), but lack control (no internal validity).
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Difference between applied and basic research.
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Applied – goal of solving a problem. Basic – for purely intellectual reasons.
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Pros and cons of deception?
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Pros: Most lies are not harmful. Cons: May cause distress for participants who were not forewarned.
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What is the sense of control for automatic thinking?
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The actor is in control of their actions.
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How do schemas affect memory?
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Reconstructions are consistent with schemas, which become more resistant to change over time.
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Define schema.
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Mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects.
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Pros and cons to schemas.
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Pros: useful, reduces ambiguity, organize, fill in gaps of information for memory reconstruction. Cons: may discount important information, stereotype and prejudice.
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What are the three reasons why something can be accessible?
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1) Due to past experience. 2) Related to a current goal. 3) Our recent experiences; referred to as priming.
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Define perseverance effect.
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Tendency for people’s beliefs about themselves and their world to persist even when those beliefs are discredited.
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What are the three judgmental heuristics?
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Availability, representativeness, and anchoring/adjustment.
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What is the difference between the three?
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Availability heuristic – ease with which they can bring something to mind. Representativeness heuristic – how similar it is to a typical case. Anchoring and Adjustment – using a number or value as a starting point.
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What are the ironic processes of control?
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Ironic monitoring process and intentional operating process.
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What is the difference between the ironic processes of control?
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Ironic monitoring process – ensures that you think about what you are trying not to think about. Intentional operating process – activates thoughts relevant to a goal, engaging in distracting behaviors.
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Define counterfactual reasoning.
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Mentally changing some aspect of the past as a way of imagining what could have been.
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Pros and cons of counterfactual reasoning.
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Pros: motivating, sense of control. Cons: rumination.
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What are some uses of nonverbal behavior?
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Express emotion, convey attitudes, communication personality traits, to facilitate or modify verbal communication.
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Difference between encode and decode?
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Encoding – expressing an emotion, Decoding – interpreting an emotion.
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What are the six major emotional expressions?
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Happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, fear, and disgust. * Not different across cultures.
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Define affect blend.
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Facial expression in which one part of the face registers one emotion while another part registers a different emotion.
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What is decoding affected by?
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Affect blends and attempts to appear less emotional.
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Define emblem.
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Nonverbal gestures that are understood within a culture.
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When is the only time when information is not received through multiple channels?
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Electronic communications like text and email. Often results in misinterpretation.
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What is the social role theory by Alice Eagly?
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1) Gender role expectations arise. 2) Men and women develop different sets of skills and attitudes, based on their experiences in their gender roles. 3) Because women are less powerful in many societies, women are socialized to be polite.
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Define implicit personality theory.
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Type of schema people use to group various kinds of personality traits together.
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Define attribution theory.
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Description of the way in which people explain the causes of their own and other people’s behavior.
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Difference between internal and external attributions?
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Internal – the inference that a person is behaving in a certain way because of something about the person, such as personality. External – the inference that a person is behaving a certain way because of something about the situation he or she is in.
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Define casual attribution.
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Explanations for behavior.
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How are thinking styles and attributions related?
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Automatic thinking – internal attribution (personality). Controlled processing – external attribution (situation).
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Define covariation model.
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In order to form an attribution about what caused a person’s behavior, we note the pattern between the presence or absence of possible causal factors across time, place, other actors, and other targets.
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What is the covariation model affected by?
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Consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency.
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Difference between consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency.
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Consensus – how other people treat the target. Distinctiveness – how the actor treats other people. Consistency – how the actor treats the target across time and different situations.
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What does the covariation model assume?
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That people make casual attributions in a rational, logical fashion.
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Define correspondence bias.
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Tendency to infer that people’s behavior corresponds to their disposition (personality).
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Define perceptual salience.
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Information that is the focus of people’s attention.
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Define spotlight effect.
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Tendency to overestimate the extent to which our actions and appearance are noticeable to others.
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Define actor-observer difference.
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Tendency to see other people’s behavior as dispositionally caused, but focusing more on the role of situational factors when explaining one’s own behavior.
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Define self-serving attributions.
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Explanations for one’s successes that credit internal, dispositional factors and explanations for one’s failures that blame external, situational factors.
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Define defensive attributions.
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Explanations for behavior that avoid feelings of vulnerability and mortality.
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Define unrealistic optimism.
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Form of defense attribution wherein people think that good things are more likely to happen to them than to their peers and that negative events are less likely to happen to them than to their peers.
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Define belief in a just world.
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Form of defense attribution wherein people assume that bad things happen to bad people, and that good things happen to good people.
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Differences in culture.
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Western – self-serving bias, spotlight effect. Eastern – situational information. Poor/wealthy – defensive attributions.